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Lucas stood in the middle of the charred remains of his once loving home.
His violet eyes looked around the destruction and damage of his once safe haven.
His former home of love.
Everything was gone, only the charred shell of its former beauty showing.
He sighed, looking for a few minutes more, then walking out of the debris, sitting down on a stone bench which once sat in the front yard of a lovely home.
His eyes looked over the damage, his mind filled with thoughts and pain.
Was this place ever
It was real in my heart and soul.
Has my whole life been a sham, a fantasy?
I love them all.
They. . .they said they loved me.
Was I an orphan thrown in with the first family willing to take me?
Was I abandoned, incapable of being loved?
They've always known I was different, and never said anything.
Who am I?
What am I?
Lucas teared up, burying his face in his hands, alone in his pain.
Lucas was oblivious to the car pulling up behind him, his mind lost in his pain.
He didn't hear someone walking up the walkway, crossing over the tape, or walking up to the bench.
He felt the man's presence when he sat down beside him, his hand going to his shoulder.
"Are you alright, Lucas?"
Lucas slowly raised his head, staring into two blue pools of caring love.
"I just had my heart ripped out. How the hell do you think I feel, Justin?"
Justin stared at Lucas, the man sitting in silence, then focusing on the young man's emotional face.
"I imagine you feel
lost. That your life as you thought it was has just been turned upside down.
That you feel alone. Well, you're not alone, Luke. Your friends are here, and so
is your family."
"They. . .they're not my family, Jus. My father. . .he just told me that!"
"I know, Luke. I know
it must have been so painful to hear that. But I still saw a lot of love in
their eyes for you, Luke. They've been your family for over twenty years, that does count
for something. Henderson may not be your blood father, but he's your true father. He
raised you, brought you up in love and happiness. You are the man you are
because of that family that stood by you through the last twenty years. Vivian
and Henderson really think of you as their son. And Trish will always love you as her
"I. . .I love them so much! They were my family, the ones who always loved me for me. The ones I could always count on."
"You still can, Lucas. Blood won't change that."
Lucas raised his head, looking into Justin's blue eyes.
"Family is the people that surround you with their love. They don't have to be blood relations. Just look at you and Finn and Skyler. They've always been more than friends to you. They've been your brother and sister. You've said it yourself. The same remains the same for Trish and Henderson. Family lives in the heart, not the blood."
Lucas nodded, looking at Justin.
"How. . .how did you find me?"
"When Josh and I found
the van gone at the hospital, he thought you'd driven back to the hotel. That's where he went with
Finn and Lance. Trish stayed at the hospital with your father. He's sleeping
sensed that maybe you just needed somewhere to be alone to think. I figured this place was
always home for you. It was the first place I had the taxi drive me."
Lucas nodded, looking at Justin.
"Why are you here, Justin?"
"I'm here because I care about you, Luke. I'm your friend and I care about you."
Lucas looked into his blue eyes, staring into his soul.
"Are you sure there isn't another reason?" Lucas said, staring at Justin, Justin feeling a deep judgment in those violet pools.
Justin looked surprised by Lucas' question, his eyes looking away from Lucas.
"I know you want me,
Justin. I know you have desires for me."
Justin looked stunned, his blue eyes meeting Lucas' staring violet.
"I've felt it since I
came to New York. The looks you give me, the stares when I'm not looking. I've
felt the need in you, Justin. Your need for me."
"Luke, I. . .I. . .you must be. . ."
"Mistaken? Don't lie to me, Justin. You want me, don't you?"
Justin lowered his head, Lucas still staring at him.
"I see the way you look at Josh now, Justin. I see the envy in your eyes, the envy for the love he now may have. My love."
"Lucas, you are. . .Josh
is. . ."
"He's your friend, Jus. He loves you so much. He once loved you so much. And you walked away from that. And now he has me. And it's eating you up inside."
Justin remained silent, staring away from Lucas.
"You can't even admit that, can you? That you're attracted to me. Josh told me of his once intense relationship with you. That you're bisexual. Why didn't you tell me the truth that day I made that pass at you?"
Justin sighed, turning and looking into Lucas' violet eyes.
"I. . .I should have, Lucas.
But I didn't have the courage. I was afraid to open my heart to anyone,
especially someone like you. From the first moment I met you on that front
step I've been infatuated with you. You're so beautiful, so giving, funny and
wonderful. I'm sorry I lied to you that day."
Lucas stared at Justin, then lowered his head.
"I'm sorry, Justin.
That time between us is past. I. . .I have feelings for Joshua now. I think. . .I think I'm
falling in love with him."
Justin nodded, staring at Lucas.
"I know, Luke. Josh
has told me the same thing."
Lucas looked at Justin, the man gazing at him.
"We are friends, Justin. That will never change. I just. . .I just can't have that kind of relationship with you. I'm sorry, but Josh has. . .Josh now has a claim to my heart. If today's revelations don't change that." Lucas said, lowering his head again.
Justin sighed, his hand going to Lucas' shoulder.
"Josh loves you, Lucas. I see it clearly in his eyes. This won't change that."
Lucas' eyes met Justin's again.
"Are you alright with that, Justin? With Josh's and my relationship?"
Justin stared at Lucas, then sighed again.
"I guess I have to be, Luke."
"You guess? What's that supposed to mean?"
Justin lowered his eyes, then raised them again, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"Yes, I once had a relationship with Josh, and it was beautiful. But I didn't have the courage then to see where it would go. The end result was that I lost Josh's love. And then we connected again and still I couldn't bring myself to follow that path of uncertainty. I played it safe. Now I'm attracted to you, and he's even more involved with you. Sometimes I think life's so unfair." Justin said, his eyes lowering again.
"Does Jessica know
about you, Justin?"
Justin looked at Lucas again, Lucas seeing the truth in his blue eyes.
"You can't even admit
it to her. Jesus Christ, Justin! How can you have a trusting, loving, honest
relationship when you can't even be honest with yourself, and more importantly
the person you love?"
"I know, Lucas. I've heard it all from Josh and Lance as well. I guess I've lived so long with the deception, with the shadowy lifestyle, that I'm afraid to show her and others the real me."
"You can't have love
if you can't offer real, honest love back, Justin."
Justin nodded, the silence lengthening between them.
After a few moments Lucas turned and looked at Justin.
"Josh and I want to be together,
Justin. We're going to love each other. If you can't handle that, then I'm
sorry. But both of us want to be your friend. I trust Josh, and I want him to
trust me. There can't be anything between us. I'm sorry. Perhaps in difference
circumstances something might have happened. You should have taken
that chance then. But not now. Not when I
need someone to be a rock for me. Josh is that rock. He. . .he says he loves me,
and I believe I can love him. I hope you really can accept that? We both want to be your
Justin nodded, his blue eyes meeting Lucas' violet.
"I will always be your rock, my Lucas."
Lucas and Justin both turned, Josh standing behind the bench.
Neither man had heard the car pull up, Josh having walked up to the two men, Justin seeing Finn and Lance standing by the car at the end of the laneway.
Lucas stared back into Josh's blue eyes, Justin standing up.
"Did you hear our conversation, Josh?" Justin said, Josh staring at him.
"I heard the tail end
of it, Justin. And I heard my Lucas' declaration to you."
Lucas stared at Josh, beginning to rise, Josh's hand going to his shoulder, Lucas remaining seated.
"Lucas is right, Justin. We are in love. You can't interfere with that. You have to accept that."
Justin nodded, his eyes going between both men.
"I. . .I know that,
Josh. I want your friendship, and your love. I won't interfere with your
Lucas smiled at Justin, Josh smiling at his friend.
"Can you give us a few minutes, Justin?" Josh said, Justin nodding, looking at his best friend.
Justin silently walked away, walking towards Finn and Lance.
Josh walked around the bench, sitting down beside Lucas, their eyes meeting.
"Thank you for voicing
our love for each other, Lucas."
Lucas nodded, staring towards his burned home, Josh looking at him.
"I wanted him to know
the facts, Joshua. That you and I are going to build our love. There's room
there for his friendship, and his love, but there's no room for hidden,
secretive lusting or mistrusting need."
Josh smiled, his hand going in Lucas'.
"My man's right. We
only want to love each other. And I do trust you, my Lucas."
Lucas softly smiled, Josh leaning over and kissing his cheek.
"I think you've showed
Justin our love, Lucas. He'll have to accept our love for each other. I love you
and not him."
Lucas nodded, staring into Josh's blue eyes.
"I love you alone, Joshua."
Josh smiled, leaning forward again, their lips meeting.
Their eyes met after the kiss, their love unchanged.
Josh's eyes went around the burned landscape, the destruction total.
"I'm sorry you lost your home, Lucas. I wish I could have seen its once beauty." he said, Lucas looking around.
"It. . .it was home to
me, Josh. But perhaps it was all a lie. Perhaps it was all a dream."
Josh saw the changing emotion on Lucas' face, his arm going around him, Lucas sighing and resting his head on Josh's shoulder.
"I'm not who I thought
I was, Joshua. Who. . .who am I really?"
"You're a giving, loving young man with an open heart and a beautiful soul. That's who you are and have always been. Just as your parents and Trish have always been your family. Yes, it's true that they weren't truthful to you. But perhaps there were valid reasons or trying circumstances. I know there was always love. It's anchored in your and your sister's values. You love them as they love you. Hell, you flew halfway across the world because your father was hurt. If that doesn't show a family's love, what does?"
Lucas nodded, soft tears showing in his eyes.
"I. . .I do love them,
Josh. They've been the only family I've ever known."
Josh smiled, Lucas snuggling into his arms more, Josh lost in the warmth of the man beside him.
"And they love you,
Lucas. Trish will always love you as the brother you always were."
"But. . .but what of my real family, Josh? Where are they? Why did they leave me?"
Josh held Lucas, unsure of the answers to those questions.
"I don't know, Lucas. I think your first step is to talk to your father. Henderson loves you, Lucas. I'm sure he can shed some light on your real parents and what happened so long ago. It seems to me that if Henderson and Vivian Carver took you in so easily then they must have loved your parents just as easily."
Lucas nodded, Josh's astute reasoning surprising him.
"Yes, Josh. I guess that does make sense. I do have to talk to him. I need to know the truth."
Josh smiled, looking back behind the bench, nodding at his friends.
Finn waved to him, Justin and Lance staring towards the bench.
"Alright, Lucas. Let's
go back to the hospital then. You need to talk to Trish as well. She was just as
devastated by this. She loves her brother."
Lucas nodded, looking into Josh's blue eyes.
"I know, Josh. We both love each other, I know that will never change in my heart."
Josh smiled, gently helping Lucas stand up, the young man looking forward at his burned home.
"Just a moment, Josh."
Josh remained still, Lucas walking to the stone front step that had once led into his home, they the only remaining part of the destroyed house.
Lucas looked forward, his head turning left then right, then he turned, looking all over the neighbourhood.
"Fire cannot destroy
what lays in hearts of loyalty. Neither can pain or hurt."
Josh stared at Lucas, the young man moving.
He walked up to Josh, taking his hand in his, the two walking back to their friends.
Josh stared at Lucas, sensing a calm determination in the man's walk and look.
Lucas stopped in front of Finn, his old friend staring at him with a look of deep friendship and love.
"Hell of a day,
"Yeah, Finny. One hell of a day."
Finn moved, his arms wrapping around his old friend, Lucas tearing up, lost in the love he felt from his old friend.
"You are--and forever will be--my brother. Your reality--whether preconceived or discovered--will never change that."
Lucas smiled, Finn hugging him tightly.
Finn smiled, breaking his hold on his friend.
"Your sister's waiting
for you, Luke. I think the two of you need to talk."
Lucas nodded, looking at Lance and Justin, then Josh.
"I need to talk to my
Dad as well. I need to find out who I am."
All four nodded, Josh's arm going around Lucas.
"You look tired, Luke.
Are you sure you don't want to rest first?"
"No, Joshua. I need to find out the truth."
Everyone stared at Lucas, seeing the calm determination on his face.
"Let's hop in the
back of the van. Justin can drive."
Justin nodded, Lucas smiling at him.
He and Josh climbed into the back of the van, Lance and Finn climbing into the other car they'd driven to the house.
Justin stared at Josh and Lucas in the backseat of the van, Lucas' head now on Josh's shoulder.
Ultimatums or joined love can't change how my heart feels, my friends.
You're so damn lucky, Joshy.
I. . .I want what you have.
Justin sighed, walking around the van and climbing into the driver's seat.
Trish's eyes raised when the room door opened, the young woman seated in the chair beside her father's bed.
Her father was asleep in his bed, Trish having been lost in thought, alone in the silence.
Her thoughts had been on her parents, and the young man she'd always thought was her brother.
That truthful realization had shocked her deeply, but not totally.
She'd always felt a difference in the young man's beauty and soul, compared to her parents and herself.
As if he was set apart from their own loving existence.
Their love was real, the four a family of love and one happiness.
But Lucas had always held a uniqueness of his own.
She now realized the reasoning behind that.
And she searched her soul and felt the realization that that didn't change anything for her.
He was--and would always be--her brother.
Her eyes went to the opening door, her brother slowly walking into the room.
Their eyes met, Trish rising from the chair, walking quickly across the room, her brother enveloping her in his strong muscular arms.
They held each other, the other five behind them smiling.
Finn's arm was around Skyler, their eyes meeting.
Josh stood between Justin and Lance, his smile wide.
Before them they saw a brother and sister locked in the love they'd always shared.
After a few moments, Trish broke their embrace, their eyes meeting.
Lucas was shockingly surprised when her hand found the side of his head, the young man yelping when she slapped him.
"There! Does that knock some sense into you? Traipsing off to God knows where? You walked away from me, Lucky! How could you do that? You're my brother and I love you."
Lucas lowered his head, his cheeks blushing, Trish's eyes meeting Josh's, the man seeing her unchanged love for his Lucas.
And he also saw the authority in the way she was handling her younger brother.
He saw a big sister showing her commanding love.
"I'm. . .I'm sorry, Trish. I. . .I was just so shocked."
Trish folded her arms, staring at her brother.
"Yes, it was a shock alright. But now you have to deal with it. We all do. Running away from us won't change what's happened."
"I. . .I realized that. I knew I had to come back. I needed to talk to you and. . .and Dad."
"I love you, Lucky. You're my brother. No truth will ever change that in my heart. So you're stuck with me. Deal with it."
Lucas softly smiled, Trish smiling back at him.
"Damn! And here I thought I had an easy way out!"
Trish laughed, Lucas hugging her again.
"I love you, Trashy. Always and forever my big Sis!"
Trish teared up again, the five behind her wiping their eyes.
"And is there still love in that heart for me as well?"
Lucas' eyes went towards the bed in the center of the room, Henderson Carver's blue eyes staring at the two young people standing in front of him.
He'd awoken when Trish had hit Lucas, his yell awakening him.
Lucas and Trish broke their embrace, Lucas staring at his father.
"That love never left, Dad. And I realized your love has always been there for me."
Henderson nodded, everyone sensing an uneasiness between the father and son, Trish staring at both.
"Okay, enough of the male testosterone thing. Hug your father right now, Lucas! Hug your son back, Dad! Move it both of you! And be quick about it!" she said, her arms again folded.
Lucas stared at her, as did her father, their eyes meeting each other again.
"You heard her, Dad. You know how bitchy she can be."
Henderson broke into laughter, Lucas smiling and moving forward, sitting down on the bed, his father's arms embracing him.
Henderson smiled, his eyes filling with tears, his son wrapped in his arms.
Lucas' eyes were filled with tears as well, the young man sinking into the familiar love surrounding him.
Trish smiled a wide smile, Finn and Skyler walking up to her sides, their arms going around her.
"Good approach, Trashy. Threatening them!" Finn said, laughing.
Trish chuckled, her brother and father now smiling up at her.
"They know better than to toy with my emotions."
She smiled back at them, walking over to the chair beside the bed, sitting down, Lucas and Henderson looking at each other.
"I'm sorry this day
turned into such a nightmare for you, Lucas. Your mother and I have wanted to
tell you for a long time. But her loyalty to your parents was unmoving. And I
respected that. I believe her disappearance now changes that."
Lucas nodded, staring at the man who wasn't his real father.
"I'm sure you have a lot of needful questions, son." Henderson said, his eyes lowering for a moment.
"I. . .I guess I don't really have a right to call you that anymore." Henderson softly said, Lucas' hand going to his chin, raising his head up.
"You have every right to call me that, Dad. You've been the only father I've known."
Henderson's eyes teared, Lucas softly smiling at him.
Lucas' eyes stared at him, the young man sighing.
Josh's eyes were locked on his boyfriend, a moment's emotion from him would see him at his side.
"I can't say this
totally didn't surprise me, because it really did. You just pulled the rug out from
under my feet, Dad. My life isn't what I thought it was."
"I know, son. I can only imagine the shock you felt. I wasn't hurt by your leaving me. I would have done the same."
Lucas nodded, Henderson rubbing his shoulder.
"You've always walked away from something when it was beyond your understanding, Lucky. You had to go and think it through. You're so like your mother. . .I mean, Vivian."
Josh smiled, knowing the man truly understood his son.
Lucas nodded, Henderson looking at Trish, the young woman staring at her father.
"Why didn't you tell
Henderson sighed, looking at both of them.
"You two were always so loyal to each other, so devoted and loving. We decided that you'd never be able to keep it secret, Patricia. Your love for your brother would have won in the end."
Trish nodded, Lucas' eyes meeting hers.
"You were only
two and a half when Lucas came to us, Trish. We arranged all of it with Lucas'
parents. Your Mom went away
for a few days, coming home with Lucas. We told you she'd been in the hospital
delivering him. He was only a few weeks old when we brought him home. You always
thought he was your true brother. And I see now he'll always be that."
Lucas nodded, staring at Trish.
She smiled at him, Lucas' eyes going back to his father.
"So my parents abandoned me just after I was born? They held no love for me." Lucas said, his head lowering.
Josh moved, walking up to the bed, Henderson's eyes meeting his.
Josh sat down behind Lucas, his hand going to his shoulder.
The other four in the room sat down on a couch and in chairs, sensing a story about to unfold.
Henderson smiled at Josh, the man smiling back.
"No, Lucas. It wasn't
abandonment that drew you into our hearts."
Lucas' now tearing eyes raised, meeting his father's.
"Then what was it? What made them give me away? Was it because they knew I was a freak?" Lucas said, his voice filling with emotion.
Josh's arm went around Lucas, Henderson taking his son's hands in his, staring at him.
"Oh, Lucas! Nothing could be further from the truth. There was only one reason they would leave you."
"And what was that, Dad?" Lucas said, his voice edged with emotion, Trish staring at him with concern, her own eyes tearing for the pain she felt coming from her brother's heart.
"For love son. For the
love they both held in their hearts for you."
"How could they love me if they threw me away? Where's the love behind that?"
Henderson leaned forward, kissing his son's cheek.
"They loved you enough
to sacrifice their keeping you with them, to make sure you survived."
"Survived? Survived what?"
"Annihilation, Lucas. For if you would have stayed with them all three of you would have been destroyed."
Emerson Belmont felt his knees letting go, the man collapsing into the chair behind the desk in his library.
His manservant stared at him with concern, the man standing by the door, seeing the phone Emerson had held now laying on the desk's mahogany surface where he'd dropped it.
"Everything alright, sir? You look ashen with shock!" Jefferson said, Emerson's head bowed, his hands trembling as they reached for the phone again.
"Leave me, Jefferson! I. . .I shall. . .I will call you when I am in need!" the man stuttered, the servant nodding, concern still etched on his face.
"Very well, sir. I shall check on you again in a few minutes." he said, reluctantly walking out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Emerson stared at the phone, picking it up again, hitting the intercom button on the receiver's base, setting the phone back on its cradle.
"Emerson? Are you there? Talk to me!!" An urgent concerned voice now filling the silent room.
"I. . .I am here, Grayson."
Grayson Wainwright relaxed, the man seated in his hotel room in Wales, having just given his report to Emerson, the final information he'd spoken he sensed had shocked the man greatly.
"Are you alright, Em?"
"Yes. . .yes I am. . .I am
fine. It was just so. . .so unexpected. You. . .are you positive?"
"Not one hundred percent but it seems to be too strange not to be. I. . .I fear it may be true."
"You must be. . .you have to be. . .how is this possible? He. . .he can't have. . .!" Emerson said, his words spoken to himself mostly.
"Are you alright, Emerson? You sound deeply shocked. I shouldn't have told you until I had true confirmation. Where's Horace?" Grayson said, worried for his old friend.
"It is not a doctor I need, Gray. It is my son." the man said, rubbing his forehead.
"I have not seen any sign of him. Only what I have spoken of. Vivian is gone also, Emerson. I am worried as to what may have befallen her. I have sensed something here."
Emerson's body became erect, the man seated upright now.
"What have you sensed?."
"The Visionaries, Em. The Shades."
"You are sure?"
"I sensed them around the charred remains of the Carver home. I think they have picked up the scent."
"He is in danger! You
must follow him, Gray! You have the watch with you?"
"Yes, Emerson. I am not that naive."
Emerson remained silent, looking at the phone.
"I never could deceive you, my old friend." he softly said, sensing his old friend's wisdom.
"You knew that I would be walking into the fray, my older friend. Hindsight is worth an ounce of prevention. You always adhered to that."
"And you know of what I am trying to
The lawyer nodded to himself, sighing into the phone.
"Yes, my friend. Can this be true, Em? Could Tristan have done something this unbelievable?"
"I am not sure this all was of his doing. My son is pragmatic, and stubborn, but he's not a total fool."
"Alright, Emerson. I shall find him. And I shall do what I must to secure the path."
"Thank you, Grayson. I
would trust no other to that path."
"For you and what you have given me, I shall walk all paths."
Emerson smiled, feeling his old friend's love for him.
"You are sure of the eyes, Gray?"
"Yes, Emerson. As violet as her pools of love."
Emerson nodded, Grayson sensing his quietness.
"I miss her, Grayson. My heart and home seem empty."
"They will return soon, my old friend."
Emerson nodded, staring at the phone.
Destiny I feel has been altered."
"I know, Em. Goodnight, and get some sleep."
Emerson disconnected the phone, his eyes moving to the portrait hanging over the fireplace.
Three paths forged in necessity, one new path forged on its own.
I sense his hand in this.
Where will that lead me, or him, or all of us?
What have you done to all of us, Tristan?
And what is this hidden tremble I have felt?
He has wandered onto the path.
And all paths feel like they're shattering.
Shall I ever have his forgiveness?
I long for it to end.
For us to be one.
I feel stretched across the paths of time.
Guide him if you must, old soldier.
And think better of me and my son.
Emerson sighed, the door of his library opening, Horace walking into the room.
"Are you alright, Emerson? Jefferson seems out of his wits with worry! What. . .what has happened?" the doctor said, his eyes filled with concern.
"I am fine, Horace.
Just some disconcerting news, that is all."
"You are best to forego any troublesome news. You need total calmness." Horace said, sitting down across from him.
"Calmness is not what
I need, Horace. I need interaction. We must ready the house, my friend."
Horace looked surprised--and confused--by Emerson's words.
"Ready the house? For what?"
The older man smiled, his face showing a soft youthful radiance the doctor hadn't seen in it in quite a long time.
"Ready it for the reality of youth, and for the destiny that youthfulness shall bring."
Horace looked confused, Emerson smiling at him.
"So much to do. We
need to summon cleaners, painters, new servants. This old mausoleum needs its cobwebs
Horace looked shocked, standing up and staring at his friend.
"Now see here, Emerson! As your doctor I cannot allow you to get all worked up by what's happened, whatever that is. You're recuperating from a lengthy illness. You need total relaxation, and quiet!"
Emerson stood up, the doctor staring at him.
"One cannot recuperate the body when one's soul is lost in time. I must get ready for the elixir that comes."
The doctor looked confused again.
"Elixir? What in blazes are you going on about, Emerson?"
"The elixir of time, Horace. The flowing liquid of life has created itself."
"I cannot allow this,
Emerson walked around the desk, Horace's eyes following his movements, seeing the man relaxed, and physically changed.
His walk was solid, his stride sure, his body erect and fluid in motion.
"You may help me organize everything or you can sit on your ass. The choice is yours. But you are my friend. That carries a greater loyalty, Doctor. I am on the final path to my answer."
"You mean. . .you've. . . you've found him?"
"Grayson has stumbled
surprising find. If it is what I think it is, then destiny is changing. I feel
the heavens may collapse from that reality. And I aim to have my son at my side
when that happens."
Horace looked shocked, Emerson's hand going to his shoulder.
"Preparations need doing, Horace. This house needs to see its old grandeur. My heart has zoned in on life. I think I'm going to be amazed myself."
The older man smiled at his friend, walking briskly out of his library.
The doctor stood in silence, alone with his troubled thoughts.
Lucas stared at his father, Henderson staring back at him.
"Annihilation? Destroyed? What. . .what do you mean, Dad?"
"I don't know all of
the truth behind that question, Lucas. I only know what your mother has told me."
"Tell me, Dad. I need to know all of it." Lucas said, Josh's blue eyes watching him.
Henderson's eyes went around the room, Lucas watching him.
"These are all my friends, Dad. They are all trustworthy. Anything you say to me, I will only tell them anyway." Lucas said, Henderson looking at him.
"Your father would
never hold well to that ideal, son. For he was a man of great caution. His mind was
steadfast on remaining hidden from those that followed him. For his life was one of constant danger."
"Yes, Lucas. He and your mother were being hunted. Someone was after them, searching for them."
"Why, Dad? Who
was after them?"
"That I'm not entirely certain of, Lucas. Your father walked away from his own family years ago, before you were born. From what Vivian said, it was a family of great wealth, prestige and power. His own father was a man of great commerce, power and influence. What your father's reasons for leaving him were, I know not. If Vivian knew she never spoke of it. He and your real mother fled from his family and from others. They were secluded from everyone, their identities changed and their paths covered. They feared that if they showed themselves to their friends, then those friends in turn would be placed in danger. I'm not sure of the validity of that assumption. For in the end they risked that seclusion to seek help from Vivian."
"They came in search of her? How did Mom know them?" Trish said, Lucas looking at his sister, the question on his mind as well.
Henderson looked at his daughter, then around at everyone, focusing on Lucas last.
His hand went to the young man's shoulder again, Lucas staring at him.
"I'm not your father, Lucas. As I told you this morning. But I am someone aligned with your family."
Lucas looked confused, Henderson smiling at him.
"I'm your uncle, Lucky."
Lucas looked surprised by his father's words, Henderson smiling at him.
"Your real mother was Trish's mother's sister. She was Vivian's younger sister."
"I. . .I have an aunt? We're cousins, Luke?" Trish said, looking at Lucas with surprise, but happiness showing on her face as well.
Lucas stared at Trish, she smiling at him.
"I knew we were family! Not siblings, but cousins of love. Works for me!"
Lucas softly smiled, his eyes going back to Henderson, staring at him.
"You're my uncle?"
Henderson nodded, Lucas softly smiling at him.
"Yes, Lucas. And I'm still family, son."
Lucas nodded, staring at him, Josh still glued to his side.
"Your real mother was
my wife's sister. Even I was unaware of that fact. Your mother. . .sorry. . .I mean
Vivian, never spoke of her having a sister."
"You never knew her?" Lucas said, Henderson shaking his head no.
"No, Lucas. I had never met her from the day I started dating Vivian until the day she showed up at our door, two years after we'd married. Vivian was stunned when she appeared. I saw instantly her happiness at seeing her again, but also her fear when she looked at your father."
"Fear? She feared my father? Was he. . .was he evil?"
Josh's arm went around Lucas again, Lucas feeling his closeness and love.
"No, Lucas. Vivian said that he at one time was one of her dearest friends, her sister and she college friends with him. I think she feared what followed them."
Lucas nodded, Josh sensing him relaxing against him.
"What is my mother's name? And my father's name?"
Henderson felt the calmness in Lucas' violet eyes, but also his reluctant need to know.
"You mother's maiden name was Savannah Carlisle."
Lucas' looked lost in thought, his voice filled with calmness.
"Savannah. What a
beautiful romantic name." he softly said, Josh quietly watching him, seeing
Lucas' calm demeanour.
"And her married name, my father's name?"
Henderson looked at Lucas, sighing.
"His name when I first met him was Emerson Trinity, and his wife's--your mother's--name Francesca. That was the forged names they'd married under. His real name, I later learned, was Tristan Belmont."
"Belmont? That name means nothing to me." Lucas said, Henderson nodding.
"I know, son. It
didn't mean anything to me as well. Your father, in fact, didn't hold high regard
for it that much as well, I think. But it was nonetheless his real name."
"Tristan and Savannah. They sound so refined, romantic and noble." Trish said, Lucas nodding at her.
"My. . .my real name is Belmont. Lucas Belmont." he said, Henderson lowering his eyes, Lucas seeing that.
"I'm sorry, Dad. I
didn't mean any disrespect to you by that."
Henderson smiled, patting Lucas' hand.
"I know, Lucas."
"I'll always be proud to be named Lucas Carver. That name was given in love and life. The other name means nothing to me." Lucas said, Henderson tearing up.
"We loved you, Lucas. We fell in love with you that first day we met you. Your mother Vivian always said you were the picture of your mother's beauty, your violet eyes matching hers."
Lucas smiled, looking at Henderson.
"I have my mother's eyes?"
"Yes, Lucas. And your
father's handsome face."
Lucas nodded, lost in his thoughts, Josh still watching him.
"When was the last time you saw them?"
Henderson looked around the room.
"On the day you came home with Vivian, Lucas. I have not laid eyes upon either of them since then."
Everyone looked surprised, Henderson seeing their looks.
after that, or so your mother Vivian said. I've felt something not so truthful
in that observation. I think your mother Vivian has had contact with them over
the years. She's never spoken of it, but I've sensed it in her. That she was
aware of their existence, how I don't know. But she's the only one who could
answer that. And now she's. . .she's gone."
Lucas looked at Henderson, seeing the worry cross his face.
"Who set that fire, Dad? Where is Mom?" Trish said, Henderson looking at her and Lucas.
"I think the danger's back on the trail again. I think whoever your parents were once fleeing from may be after them again. Someone set that fire, as a trap to kill Vivian or them. I just don't understand what happened when I walked into that house. It felt so strange what she said." Henderson said, looking confused.
"What do you mean, Dad?" Lucas said, Henderson smiling at him, hearing the young man still calling him Dad.
"I came home late from the university, the place in darkness. I smelled the smoke when I walked up the front path. I opened the front door and the place exploded into flames. That's when I heard your mother Vivian yelling for me. I ran into the house searching for her. I never found her. I got trapped. Ned Farmer and Jack Upton--our neighbours--rushed into the house and pulled me out. The firemen said they found no remains in the place. Your mother wasn't there, neither were your real parents. The trap failed. All it did was almost kill me and destroy our home. Our beautiful home."
"You said that what she said was strange, Dad. What did Mom say?" Lucas said, staring at his father.
"She said the same line a few times. 'This place seldom gets so many visitors. Welcome to all of you. My husband, help me!' That's what she said. She's never called me 'my husband' in her entire life!"
Lucas' eyes took on a soft look of puzzlement, then his violet eyes widened a bit, Henderson thinking he looked a little surprised.
"Are you okay, Luke?" he said, his words broken by the room's door opening.
The doctor walked in, smiling at everyone.
"How's our remarkable patient doing?" he said, walking over to Henderson, Josh and Lucas both rising from the edge of the bed, the doctor smiling at them, Lucas staring at him.
"I'm doing well, Doctor. Must be the love surrounding me." Henderson said, Trish smiling at him.
The doctor smiled, examining the man laying in the bed, checking his pulse, heart rate and eyes.
He checked over Henderson's arms and legs, everyone quietly watching, Henderson softly blushing.
"Well, Doctor?" Lucas said, the doctor looking at him.
"Your father's in surprising shape, Mr. Carver. The burns have been healing at an astounding rate. His skin will be fine in a few days."
"I want my father to leave today, Doctor." Lucas said, everyone looking surprised by his calm words, Henderson looking shocked.
"Son, what. . .? I should remain here, Lucas." he softy said, Lucas staring at the doctor.
"I want my father in my care, Doctor. His burns are healing on their own. There is no reason to remain here in danger."
"In danger? What are you talking about, son?" the doctor said, looking confused.
"I'm talking about the fact that I believe my father is in danger. Last night proved it, as our discussion just now did."
Everyone looked confused, Lucas glancing at Josh, the man staring at him with concern.
"I need to ask you a question, Doctor."
"Alright, son. Ask away." the doctor said, folding his arms in front of him.
"Do you have a nurse here named Edwina Arlington?"
The doctor looked surprised by the question, everyone staring at Lucas, remembering the nurse from last night, Henderson looking confused.
"Who. . .who are you? What are you talking about, Mr. Carver? There's no nurse on that floor by that name now."
"Now, Doctor?" Justin said, looking at him, then at Lucas.
The doctor's eyes met Justin's, then looked around at everyone, stopping on Lucas' violet eyes.
Everyone saw that the doctor looked a bit emotional, his professionalism gone.
"Edwina Arlington was the hospital's senior nurse. She was in charge of the emergency ward. She passed away two years ago in a car accident. How in God's name do you know about her?" the doctor said, everyone but Lucas looking surprised.
"Because she walked into this room last night, Doctor. A nurse wearing a white uniform with her nametag walked into this room as we were leaving. She talked to us." Justin said, his eyes widening a little, remembering her words.
"'This place seldom gets so many famous visitors, Mr. Timberlake. Welcome to all of you.' Those were almost the same exact words you heard in that house, Dad." Lucas said, turning and looking at his father.
Henderson looked confused, the others surrounding him staring at Lucas in shock.
"You mean. . .?" Lance said, staring at Lucas.
"I mean that that's too much of a coincidence for my liking. Something's going on here and my father's at risk. I'm taking him out of here today." Lucas said, staring at the shocked-looking doctor.
"Alright, Mr. Carver. I can't stop you from discharging your father, he's not in any real risk, health-wise. But I caution you about taking care of him. He's still healing and should remain calm and quiet." the doctor said, his eyes still showing confusion.
"He will, Doctor. I am taking personal responsibility for his caring." Lucas said, looking at his father.
"Very well. I'll sign the discharge papers. The expenses are settled, he can go in about an hour." the doctor said, walking towards the door, turning back and staring at Lucas.
"Edwina Arlington was
an angel of mercy. If her. . .if you saw. . .if her giving spirit was here then she
was on another mission of mercy. I see that clearly in your father's miraculous
recovery. I suggest you leave quietly and talk to no one. I'll deny ever
speaking of this."
Lucas nodded, staring at the doctor, the doctor looking into his calm violet eyes.
"Thank you, Doctor
Schultz. She was only as giving as her mentor."
The doctor lowered his eyes, quietly walking out of the room.
Lucas' eyes turned, everyone staring at him.
"Can you run out and get my Dad some clothes, Lance and Justin? He has none here, they were burned.." Lucas said, taking charge of his father's needs, everyone still staring at him.
"How. . .how did she. . .what the hell's going on here, Lucky?" Finn said, his face showing a soft white look of nervous concern.
"I'm not sure what's going on, Finny. But I'm not staying around to find out, or meet that woman again. We're leaving." Lucas said, feeling a hand going in his, his eyes meeting two blue pools standing beside him.
"I think Lucas is correct. Let's get Mr. Carver out of here now." he said, Lucas smiling at him.
Lance and Justin nodded, the two walking out of the room in search of clothing.
End of Chapter 13
A dead nurse walking into Lucas' father's room.
What's the meaning of that?
Seems there's something strange going on.
And our special Lucas has picked up on it.
Justin has been given a direct message from Lucas, and Josh.
Will he abide by their words?
He still seems to be longing for Lucas.
Only time, my creativity and some good old imagination will shed light on all this.
I hope you'll like the path I'll guide our hero on.